SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY OLIVER WOLCOTT ON THE COLLECTION OF ALCOHOL AND STILL TAXES, 1798
[WOLCOTT, Oliver]. Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, Accompanying Sundry Statements, Exhibiting the Amount of Duties upon Domestic Distilled Spirits and Stills, for the year ending the 30th of June, 1797. Philadelphia: Way & Groff, . Folio, 19th-century three-quarter black morocco rebacked, with original spine label laid down, marbled boards, raised bands, pp. 12. $600.
First edition of this interesting document detailing revenues on alcohol and stills collected from the 15 states in 1796-97.
Wolcott was appointed secretary of the Treasury by President Washington in 1795. “The mounting expenditures of the federal government, the extreme fluctuations and wild speculations in American foreign commerce, and the increasing demoralization of the European moneymarkets… created grave problems for the Treasury” (DAB). Here Wolcott laments the difficulties encountered in collecting the alcohol and still duties efficiently and without embezzlement on the part of the collection officers. The bulk of his letter consists of tables breaking down by state different tax revenues and expenses associated with their collection. Certain incongruities are readily apparent from these charts: for example, Pennsylvania, where the Whiskey Rebellion was suppressed by Washington in 1794, is the second-highest contributor of tax revenue at $117,269, while Tennessee, home of Bourbon whiskey, is nearly last at $6,657. Evans 34971.
Light infrequent spotting. A wide-margined copy.